The Division of Early Childhood at the Maryland State Department of Education is responsible for early care and education in Maryland. The main mission of the Division is to improve early education in Maryland so that young children are well prepared for school. The Division is composed of the Office of Child care, the Early Learning Branch, and the Collaboration and Program Improvement Branch.
Office of Child Care
The Office of Child Care (OCC) works to support and guide early education and child care so that every young child in Maryland has a strong foundation and will be ready for kindergarten. The OCC is responsible for licensing and inspecting all child care centers and family child care and daycare providers in Maryland and evaluating and approving applications for Maryland State Department of Education Child Care Trainers/Training Proposal Approval Program. The OCC also administers Maryland’s subsidized child care program for working families and the state’s Child Care Credentialing System.
The OCC is responsible for the regulation of child care, facilitating the development of new child care resources, promoting the use of regulated care, monitoring caregiver compliance with child care licensing requirements, encouraging the growth of caregiver professionalism, and providing technical assistance to caregivers and parents. Within OCC, the Licensing Branch is specifically responsible for all child care licensing activities.
The Early Learning Branch is responsible for pre-k and kindergarten policy and programs. This branch also oversees the Ready for Kindergarten Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System, Developmental Screening, Early Childhood Curriculum and the Maryland Approved Alternative Program Preparation. For more information about any of these branches or to locate a daycare provider please visit the website.